jessjamz 11: Here I go, here I go, here I go AGAIN

Awww yeah IT’S FRIDAY! And you know what that means….JESSJAMZ. Let’s get to the good stuff.

1994 was a good year for me. Or was it. I don’t really remember. I do know though that it was a GREAT year for music. Why? Because it gave the world bne of my favorite songs of all time.

This song is just timeless. It has a powerful message of women empowerment (i think? ok maybe not). It has an INCREDIBLE music video that provides us with 90s fashion muses that I recommend channeling on a weekly basis. And most importantly, it gave me an AWESOME go-to karaoke song. I’m telling you, this is a crowd pleaser.

If you needed more validation, even ELLEN agrees. Watch this and try not to giggle. I dare you.

Yeah. Told ya so.

xoxo -j

Stitch Fix Review

Today, we discuss fashion (sorry fellas). Or, rather, not fashion, but shopping. Or, rather^2, not shopping, but having someone else shop for you. You get it. Stitch Fix.

Stitch Fix did not endorse this at all and has probably forgotten I existed since it’s been over a month since I opened my wallet for them. Don’t get any crazy ideas that I’m cool enough for brands to care about me.

I started seeing posts about Stitch Fix all over the blog-o-sphere a couple months ago, but assumed it would a) suck and/or b) be expensive. But then Chelsea got the balls bravery to do one and I was pretty impressed with her results. Basically, here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up here and fill out a questionnaire that covers your body shape (down to “is your torso a) long b) normal c) short”), how you like your clothes to fit/what parts of your body you like to flaunt, and what your style is, including rating a number of looks they have prepared. You can also put in links to your Pintrest Boards/LinkedIn/Blog etc. and your stylist (you are assigned one forever and ever…2getha4eva) will use this to help them pick things you’ll love.
  2. Wait until you have some dolla dolla billz. Once you make a profile, there’s no rush to order a fix- this isn’t automatically a monthly thing (unless you want it to be). A good thing to do during this time is refer your other friends using your referrer link because if they find a pot of golden treasure before you do and they go ahead and order a “Fix”, you get $25 credit to the site. WHABAM. (and yes, the links to Stitch Fix in this post are my referrer links. love me or hate me.)
  3. Order a “Fix”! You can either give the stylist some tips (I said I wanted a cool/modern blazer and no jewlery) or you can just leave it up to the stylist.
  4. Get your package in the mail!
  5. Do a happy dance in your mail room!!!!!
  6. Try on everything. (If your me, take pictures obsessively. This isn’t narcissistic, right?)
  7. Whatever you don’t like, throw back in the prepaid return package they sent you.
  8. Go to your Stitch Fix and “check out” a.k.a. let them know what you are keeping and what you liked/disliked about what they sent you.

It’s super easy. And knowing that I could send back whatever I didn’t want was clutttchh. The only (super reasonable) catch is they charge you $20 per styling- but if you keep something(s) >$20 then this money just goes towards the item. For example. You order a Fix and your card is charged $20. You keep a top that is $30 bucks. Your card is charged $10 when you check out. So basically it’s just to make sure stylists aren’t styling all these boxes and people keep NOTHING.

Oh, and if you keep the whole box, you get 25% OFF! That’s pretty legit. When the box comes, it’s super adorable AND has a nice long note that your stylist wrote to you explaining why she picked each piece, how to pair it with things in your wardrobe (each item comes with pictures of potential outfits too), and why she thinks you’ll love it. My stylist is Ashley and she rocks!

Box and Note

Drum roll please…Here’s what I got in my first Fix:

Chunky sweater in Cream $48.00

Hi Claire!

Hi Claire!

This was super comfy and I loved the way it looked paired with any of my 1 billion scarfs. I don’t have any cream sweaters, so I kept this one. I wore it this past weekend when I was in NYC while I was having a couple beers with my dear friend Claire and felt fab in it.

Navy Cardigan $48.00

Boooooo

Boooooo

This was boring and lame. And DEFF not worth 3 Happy Hours. See ya never, stupid navy cardy.

Trapeze Top in Bright Blue $28.00

blue top

The color doesn’t come through that well on my busted iPhone camera, but it’s awesomely bright and great.

I thought I was going to hate this when I pulled it out. The color was lovely (and unlike anything I have) but I thought for sure it would be super unflattering. Turns out I was wrong. KEEPSIES.

Tiered Striped Skirt $58.00

Skirt

This skirt. I went back and forth on it. And then back. And forth again. I ended up sending it back because a) I knew that I was going to be working from home a lot and this was more of a work skirt and b) it was just the teensiest bit too tight on my belly, and I hateeee that. Au revoir, super edgy work skirt.

Forest Green Blazer $78.00

Jess, stop trying to make the green blazer happen. It's not going to happen.

Jess, stop trying to make the green blazer happen. It’s not going to happen.

I pulled this out of the box and was like AWWW YEAHHH. Put then I put it on and was like OHHH NOOOO. It was too long (came to my mid thigh) and pulled funny across my chest. Definitely an awesome idea though and in line with what I had asked for. Bye bye bye.

All said and done, this was a blast. I got a comfy new sweater to start out fall with and a super flattering and cute going out top (that also works well under a blazer). I’ll definitely be doing this again when I have money…which won’t be soon because I was on ASOS last night. Woops. While I was perusing their sale section I came across this nonsense.

Nope, definitely NOT PANTS.

Nope, definitely NOT PANTS.

They actually had the audacity to call these “pants” (albeit hot pants). Just, no. Once and for all, ladies. Diapers are NOT pants and are ABSOLUTELY NOT acceptable for wearing in public.

That is all.

xoxo -j

jessjamz 10: Lost in NY

Just kidding, I’m not lost. But I AM in NYC which is (one of) the reasons I’ve been MIA. Last night I went out with 3 of my dear, dear friends from college and we had a blast!

My lovely hosts- Megan, Eddie, and Vic!

My lovely hosts- Megan, Eddie, and Vic!

After we got kicked out of this cool mixology bar at 2:30 AM (my drink had vietnamese mint in it!) I convinced Eddie that this was my only night to go out this weekend in the City that Never Sleeps and therefore the night wasn’t ready to be over yet. We tried to go a couple more places only to find them closed, so we ended up happily settling with bacon ranch pizza (this exists) and beer. Fine by me!

bacon. ranch. PIZZA.

bacon. ranch. PIZZA.

But here’s what you really come here for- JESSJAMZ! Ask and you shall receive. Also it’s a live version which is even more hilarious. Check out JT’s move at 1:50. Gimme gimme. ALSO also- JT is wearing a b’dazzled bandana. I can’t.

xoxo -j

Why I’m Sore: Dance Class!

Hi! I’ve been hobbling around all day because I AM SORE- but sore in the best kind of way :) Last night, for the first time in 4.5 years, I danced.

I started dancing when I was 3 and continued in college through my sophomore year dancing with a team at UMD called UnBound. It was always a blast dancing with those girls, and we loved kicking our butts twice a week in 3-hr marathon-length practices. When I started my junior year, I was taking a wicked brutal course load and had 4 jobs so I had to drop off the team. Until VERY recently, I thought I would never dance again.

UMD Unbound Girls

UMD Unbound Girls

A couple of weeks ago, one of the girls from the team sent a message around saying she missed dancing and did anyone want to try to figure something out where we could rent a studio for a night a week and take turns teaching class and some choreo just for fun. I gotta be honest- I was apprehensive. Four years is a LONG time to not dance- I can hardly touch my toes anymore, I haven’t leaped in god-knows-when, and my runners muscles aren’t particularly long and lean. Alas, FOMO won out in the end and I decided to go for our first class last night.

Five of us showed up at 9:00 last night and we started with a nice long warm up and stretch. Stretching used to feel good when I was flexible. Stretching now hurts like a mo-fo! By the time we had finished stretching all the way through our splits, we all needed water because our muscles are so out of dancing shape! We made an agreement at the beginning of class that no one would look at each other so that we could avoid embarrassment, but we actually ended up just laughing with each other and cheering everyone on. Alicia (who I actually also went to high school with) had made up a little combo and we practiced that for a while. We definitely have looked better, but I felt so happy to be moving like that again.

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After “class”- sweaty but oh-so-happy!

Three of us stayed a couple extra minutes at the end to start learning some hip hop choreo Alicia saw on youtube (see choreo below- clearly that is NOT us. lolZ). I’ve always loved hip hop but never really practiced it, so this might have been my favorite part of the whole night!

Moral of the story- if there’s something you love to do, whether its running, dancing, spinning, body pump, whatever, don’t let “I can’t do that”, “I’ll look stupid”, or petty embarrassment issues keep you from doing it. As long as you’re moving and having fun, you will be rockin’ it and feeling great! I’m so glad I didn’t let pride get in the way of me going last night and I can’t wait to keep dancing now! I’m starting to look in to maybe taking a class a local adult studio in DC (Joy of Motion) so if I do I’ll keep you guys posted.

xoxo -j

Join a Run Club!

Just another Manic Mondayyyyyyy wish it was FRIDAY. Ahh, another wonderful weekend come and gone. As much as I love my weekends, I’ve gotten pretty great over the past couple years at taking advantage of ways to have a blast during the week so that I’m not just wasting my weeks “working for the weekend.” While most of this involves gallivanting around the city, eating delicious foods, and drinking craft beers and wines, I do also do healthy things. Sometimes.

After E and I ran the Marine Corps Marathon last year, I went through a bit of a running slump. I had dedicated sooo much of my time and focus to running for 6 months, I was happy to not think about it at all for a couple months.

Marathon Training 2012

Marathon Training 2012

I muscled out a handful of short (10 miles and less) races, but for the most part I wasn’t training at all. Note: going in to races cold without training and pounding them out is miserable and highly not recommended. Don’t do it.  When I saw Chelsea’s post last week about her running slump, I decided to write a post about my awesome experience with joining a run club and how it’s helped me get out of my post-marathon-laziness.

A couple of months ago at the prompting of my friend Brynne (here’s her new blog!), I decided it was time to get my act together and I started running with Pacers Run Club in Logan Circle. I know of loads of other run clubs in DC, and I’d bet every city has at least a handful. The philosophy is simple: show up, run together for free, grab a beer after. As a long-time hater-of-gyms, this works great for me because a) it’s free and b) there’s no pressure/commitment. I’m not GREAT about going, but with 3 fun runs a week, there are loads of ways to fit it in your schedule. (Note: I only do evening runs, but for you early birds, Pacers Logan Circle has 3 early morning runs too).

Last week E and I went to the Tuesday night run- he doesn’t love to go with me, but when it’s the monthly Shake Shack run I can usually convince him :) On the second Tuesday of each month, Pacers partners with Shake Shack and, instead of the runs ending back at the store, we end at Shake Shack in Dupont.

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I bought a “Shack Track and Field”  shirt and beer card a couple of months ago for $10 bucks, so I get a free beer after each Shake Shack run. It’s awesome.

Nothing like a cold beer after a great run!

Nothing like a cold beer after a great run!

I have NEVER seen this many people at a fun run- there was well over 100 people! If you follow me on Twitter (and why wouldn’t you) you saw that I tweeted a pic of the insanity. A couple of the runners were saying that a couple of the local papers/websites had articles advertising the run, so there was a HUGE turnout.

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It was awesome to feel like we were taking over the city as we all flooded 14th St, particularly when we Washingtonians have had control of pretty much NOTHING going on in our city the past 3 weeks.

run club

I know these aren’t great, but that’s what happens when you try to take pictures while running

The run was about 5 miles and it felt awesome to be out stretching my legs again. I had a couple of bad runs the week before (when it was 90 f-ing degrees in October) so it was a great confidence booster to bust out a run at full stride and feel great about it.

I’m running the DC Rock and Roll Half Marathon in March, and, for the first time, I’m going to train to run the race for time. In all my races, I’ve always leaned towards “distance over speed” because I hate interval training and pushing my pace. Since I’m going to stay away (for the time being) from anything longer than a half marathon, I think it’s about time that I try to push myself harder to re-dedicate myself to training. We’ll see how this goes.

If you want to get updates about the Pacers Logan Circle fun runs, sign up with the Facebook group here. There are a bunch of other Pacers around the DMV that all have run clubs, so stop being a baby and go do something you’ve never done before! It’s good for you to feel outside of your comfort zone. If you’re having trouble motivating yourself or making new friends in a city, seriously consider Googling “[Your city]+run club” and I’ll bet you find something awesome!

Keep me posted if you guys decide to join a run club! You won’t regret it.

xoxo -j